Meet the team

Dr Claudine Bowyer-Crane
Claudine is a Senior Lecturer at the Dept of Education, University of York and Programme Leader for the Psychology in Education BSc. Claudine studied at the Dept of Psychology, University of York where she obtained her BSc in Psychology. She stayed at York to complete her PhD thesis which focused on the development of reading comprehension and inference generation in young children. Since finishing her PhD in 2003, her research has largely focused on the importance of language to literacy development. She has been particularly involved in research developing and evaluating evidence-based interventions for children at risk of literacy difficulties due to problems with oral language. She is currently involved in research focused on how best to support children learning English as an Additional Language.

Dr Silke Fricke
Silke is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Communication Sciences at the University of Sheffield. Silke’s research focusses on (a) identifying factors that place a child at risk of literacy difficulties by investigating early speech, language, and literacy development and difficulties in mono- and multilingual children, (b) developing assessments to identify mono- and multilingual children with speech and/or language weaknesses, and (c) evaluating early speech, language and literacy interventions.

Dr Frank Herrmann
Frank is a senior lecturer in English Language & Linguistics at the University of Chester. As an acoustic phonetician, he is particularly interested in speech-motor learning in first and second language acquisition contexts, (a-)typical language development, and sex differences in speech production. For our project Frank ensures that the recordings from our translators are of the best possible quality and he is currently investigating the phonetic complexity across the languages we test. Frank is also responsible for our website and the smooth operation of our Discussion Forum for researchers, translators, app developers, and beta testers. You can find his research profile on ResearchGate.

Twin Karmakharm
Twin is a research software engineer in the Research Software Engineering Sheffield group (RSES) within the Computer Science Department and is in the process of completing his PhD. He specialises in high-performance agent-based pedestrian simulation, GPU code optimisation, virtual reality, and deep learning. He currently provides consultancy, training and technical support for researchers on deep learning and other GPU related software engineering problems.

Dr Mariam Kiran
Currently working as a Lecturer (Asst Professor) for Software Engineering at the University of Bradford (since April 2014). She graduated with BS, MSc(Software Engineering) and a PhD from the University of Sheffield. Her research focuses on decentralised optimisation of performance and QoS, parallelisation algorithms, software engineering and complex problem solving for data intensive computing applications such as for running large-scale complex simulations. She explores various platforms such as high performance computing grids, Nvidia Graphics cards, and Cloud computing using multiple techniques such as Big Data and more. She leads the Cloud research group at Bradford working on infrastructure related issues particularly with AWS and Openstack.

Dr Blanca Schaefer
Blanca is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and a lecturer at the Department of Human Communication Sciences, University of Sheffield. She studied Teaching and Research Logopedics at Aachen University of Technology (Germany). Blanca joined Newcastle University 2009 as a post-doctoral Research Associate for the re-standardisation of The New Reynell Developmental Language Scales. Between 2010 and 2012, Blanca was a lecturer and professor at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences Hamburg. Blanca later worked as a post-doctoral Research Associate on the Get Ready for Learning Project. After a brief period as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester (Department of English), Blanca re-joined HCS as a Lecturer in July 2015. Throughout her career, she has worked part-time as an SLT at different private SLT practices with mono- and multilingual children who had spoken and written language difficulties. Blanca’s main research interests are the development of spoken language assessments for mono- and multilingual children and the links between spoken language development/difficulties, literacy acquisition and school attainment. Her research profile can also be found on ResearchGate.